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Thread: Nurses fired for refusing flu shots

  1. #11
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    I have never had the flu shot and neither have my children or DH. However, I do believe in being able to fire someone for whatever reason an employer sees fit. I believe that it is well known that nurses are required to get a flu shot. If that is something that is morally objectionable to you, then that is probably not a good field for you to be in.
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    Posting Addict ClairesMommy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mom3girls View Post
    What happened to body autonomy? Why should she be forced to put something in her body that she was comfortable with? I am sure as a veteran nurse she was knowledgeable on how to not spread her germs.

    That being said I think employers have the right to fire whomever they would like, I just disagree with firing an employee over something like this when all other indicators show her to be a great employee
    Even the best, longest tenured nurses don't know they've just contracted the flu virus when they touched that faucet or doorknob or handrail on the bus.

  3. #13
    Mega Poster mom3girls's Avatar
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    I am well aware of how the flu is spread. I just do not believe that the flu shot is the end all be all for flu prevention. In the ICU at the hospital here the nurses wash before they come in the room, glove up and put on a mask every time. (actually I think they do this in all the rooms during flu season)

    I just dont see how taking away her choice here is okay, especially if she is willing to take extra precaution to protect her patients.
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    Community Host Sapphire Sunsets's Avatar
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    Right move.


    It has nothing to do with taking away her choices it's about keeping the patients (and there family's that visit) healthy and most importantly alive. There are already over 3,000 cases of the flu being reported for this yr, and it's only going to get worse.

    Where i worked, if you didn't take the shot they only made you sign a waiver.

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    Posting Addict ClairesMommy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mom3girls View Post
    I am well aware of how the flu is spread. I just do not believe that the flu shot is the end all be all for flu prevention. In the ICU at the hospital here the nurses wash before they come in the room, glove up and put on a mask every time. (actually I think they do this in all the rooms during flu season)

    I just dont see how taking away her choice here is okay, especially if she is willing to take extra precaution to protect her patients.
    Um, I don't think anyone has argued that it is.

  6. #16
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    My DH works in our local hospital, and it's mandated that all healthcare workers get the flu shot, and if they chose not to, then they are required to wear face masks and gloves (new gloves obviously for each patient).
    Quote Originally Posted by Spacers View Post
    I don't think that's a reasonable accomodation because that person will still have to remove the mask to take a drink of water, blow his nose, eat lunch on his break, maybe talk on the phone, etc. and then the protection is gone. But if it is offered, then it should be at the nurse's personal expense, not the hospital's.
    I believe that they are required to change their mask every time it is removed for any reason, and they're not permitted to remove it while in contact with their patients.

    I actually think this provides an even higher level of protection, because a new patient can be admitted and have already come into contact with the flu. Not all nurses wear gloves (in fact, unless you're going into a highly contagious room or doing blood work, around here almost no nurses wear gloves), so by requiring nurses to change gloves in between seeing every patient, it's preventing the nurses from spreading the flu from patient to patient.
    The flu shot may give individual immunity, but it doesn't stop the germs from living on your hands/clothing, etc and passing to someone else.

    And as for cost......well, I'm Canadian, so the cost is paid for by the hospital.
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  7. #17
    Prolific Poster ftmom's Avatar
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    Here nurses who choose not to get the flu shot here have to wear mask and gloves, and a badge that says they didnt have it. Honestly these are precations I think every nurse should take anyways, and the flu shot shouldnt determine employment. Both my parents got the flu shot this year, and both got the flu. We shouldnt rely so heavily on something that isnt very reliable in my opinion. And they should have found another place for this woman. 22 years ago when she got her job the flu shot wasnt available, let alone required!
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    Posting Addict Alissa_Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mom3girls View Post
    I am well aware of how the flu is spread. I just do not believe that the flu shot is the end all be all for flu prevention. In the ICU at the hospital here the nurses wash before they come in the room, glove up and put on a mask every time. (actually I think they do this in all the rooms during flu season)

    I just dont see how taking away her choice here is okay, especially if she is willing to take extra precaution to protect her patients.
    I don't see how her body autonomy should (potentially) be the patients' problem. By being at an increased risk for catching the flu, she isn't just putting herself at risk, but also putting her patients at risk. Where is their choice? Can they choose not to have her as a nurse?

    For most jobs, I would agree that her bodily automy is more important. It would be an outrage if my company fired me over refusing to get a flu shot. However, she works with critically ill patients who may well have compromised immune systems. To me, that comes with special obligations and responsibilities over and above what most of us deal with. Part of that is doing everything reasonable to minimize the risk of infection to these crically ill patients. Getting a flu shot falls well within the limits of "reasonable" unless she has a valid medical reason not to, IMO.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mom3girls View Post
    I am well aware of how the flu is spread. I just do not believe that the flu shot is the end all be all for flu prevention. In the ICU at the hospital here the nurses wash before they come in the room, glove up and put on a mask every time. (actually I think they do this in all the rooms during flu season)

    I just dont see how taking away her choice here is okay, especially if she is willing to take extra precaution to protect her patients.
    To the bold... Correct. There are several flu strains every year and they isolate the most virulent and that is the vaccine they make and we receive. I received a flu shot but it does not mean I cannot catch another strain floating around out there. More than likely my body could fight it off though or already has. If not, then I'm off work for a few days, lol.

  10. #20
    Community Host Sapphire Sunsets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alissa_Sal View Post
    I don't see how her body autonomy should (potentially) be the patients' problem. By being at an increased risk for catching the flu, she isn't just putting herself at risk, but also putting her patients at risk. Where is their choice? Can they choose not to have her as a nurse?

    For most jobs, I would agree that her bodily automy is more important. It would be an outrage if my company fired me over refusing to get a flu shot. However, she works with critically ill patients who may well have compromised immune systems. To me, that comes with special obligations and responsibilities over and above what most of us deal with. Part of that is doing everything reasonable to minimize the risk of infection to these crically ill patients. Getting a flu shot falls well within the limits of "reasonable" unless she has a valid medical reason not to, IMO.

    Bolded: Yes. You can refuse a person as a nurse. Unless she has the badge that says she didn't recieve the flu shot (like in another post) how are they going to know?

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